10 Questions with ... A.J. Jackson
September 21, 2015
Interview by Nicole DeRosa
1. You are working on your new album now, right?
We are knee deep in our full-length album. It's been amazing so far. It's like a musical party in the studio every day.
2. The band just wrapped your summer tour. How was that?
It was a unique one for us. So much has changed for us this past year and this is the first time we've really been invited to play festivals and radio shows. The crowds have been great and getting to meet bands we've always admired is unbelievable.
3. For those not familiar with you and your music, who or what was the catalyst for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
I grew up in Minneapolis. The land of Prince, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, and Rhymesayers. It's a city with a great art and music scene. I'm not sure when exactly I decided I wanted to be in a band, but I can't remember a time where I wasn't in one. Ever since I started writing music in the second grade and performing it for my elementary class, I was hooked.
4. What have you learned between your debut album, EPs and playing live that you felt you wanted to infuse into your upcoming second album?
Those magical shows that just become giant sexy dance parties, where you get lost in a cathartic sweaty good time. We want to continue to chase that feeling in our recordings.
5. For the horn-driven song, "My Type," I understand you guys also used some interesting sonic percussion, including a beer bottle!
There was definitely a beer bottle broken during the recording that you can hear if you listen carefully.
6. You guys have such great lyrics. What's the writing process like?
Lyrics are definitely the slowest part of the writing process for me. I'm naturally one to overthink everything and I can easily get lost on a single word in a stanza for a while. As far as the process, I've always been a big fan of lyrics that are subtly strange, tongue in cheek, and have a unique vantage point on a particular topic. I think finding that unique perspective on it is the challenge.
7. What was the first album you bought for yourself?
I'm pretty sure it was Weezer's Blue Album.
8. What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
When I was a kid I had a really strong reaction to Beethoven's 7th Symphony 2nd Movement.
9. Who is in your current playlist?
Unknown Mortal Orchestra album, Jamie XX, Monika, Tom Jones.
10. What's on tap next for you guys?
Heading out on tour in a couple weeks. Some dates as support for Nate Ruess and Walk The Moon. New videos coming. Gonna be woot!